Wednesday, May 20, 2009
What should I call these folks who I read and who may read me? AFCBs? Argh.
Today I went to look at a filly, a young female horse. When they walked her out, I noticed she's way too small and way too fat. Not what I like. 14 hands is too small for me, even though I'm a short guy. I like big beasts. So I rode her for 15 minutes and realized it wasn't going to work.
Will see another filly this week, and a gelding colt next week. Hopefully one of the two works. They're both convenient to my home.
After the ride, I decided to head into the city to see some friends later. I was going to just sit at an outdoor patio, smoke a ceegar, have a nice cold drink and let the day pass. I brought my tiniest of netbooks so I could even get some writing done on an assignment due Saturday.
Instead, I received an invitation from Anonymous Female Chicago Blogger #2. I already met one Anoymous Female Chicago Blogger last week, and had a great time. Since I'm always intrigued by writers, and the vast majority of those I communicate with are strangely female (not strange themselves, of course), I figured I'd take up her offer to join her for lunch.
We decided to meet at a restaurant near her work somewhere in the mysterious city of Chicago. We texted back and forth, and she said she'd meet me there. I got to the city about 15 minutes ahead of schedule, so I ran to Walgreens to pick up some things. This particular Walgreens is home to 50,000 homeless people buying Snickers, at least it was today.
I hopped back in the car and zipped to the part of town where the restaurant is, a few blocks walk from her office. She asked me to text her when I was close. I paid the parking meter (2 hours, just in case!) and ventured down the street looking for the place. Being my clueless "blonde" self, I picked the wrong side of the street and likely walked right by her, only the turn around, cross over and notice her when I was making the double-cross to the other corner. Oops. Is embarrassment cute?
She was standing outside, looking surprisingly prettier and happier than I had expected. This is the second blogger I've met, but for some reason I always picture them in my head to be... not like the two I met. She was wearing a fantastic dress that should not be worn within 45 feet of a horny old man. No glasses, thank God (sunglasses on her head, though). Cute shoes, cute bag, not overbearing on the makeup from 10 feet. Surprising, considering the area she works in tends to be all bleach bunnies with too much face paint.
I walked up, said hi, shook her hand and proceeded to walk towards the restaurant. A little bit egotistical of me: when meeting someone you don't know and it's a random encounter, it always makes sense to keep them comfortable. We decided to sit indoors (it was a bit muggy out). The restaurant had maybe 2 tables with people, and we were seated by a cute hostess who played on the fun banter AFCB#2 and I provided.
It's good to see a woman smile. In fact, I would say that a woman's smile is probably tied for a woman's "Flush and I can't move and don't touch me until I can get my breath" look. She sat facing the door and I sat facing rows of empty seats.
The chit chat was good with no pregnant or uncomfortable pauses. I ordered a cocktail and she ordered her own alcoholic beverage, which to me looked like way more than her frame could handle in a weekend. She had to get back to work in an hour or so, alcohol being the preferred consumable for us both. We both took sips of our water glasses, and the drinks were presented quickly by our waitress, another cute 20-something who definitely did not want to be there.
She talked with me intruding a bit more than I normally do. Her eyes were curious and her smile contagious, but the dark cast behind her pupils showed that she was stressed. She mentioned this, and we talked about the lead-up to the stress in her life. I don't like to see people stressed, and I try to do my best to let them discuss things in hope that they find a new solution to the stress than what they're already letting weigh in on their chest (note: she had a great rack).
We jumped subjects like hipsters jump the turnstyles at the Red Line (one of Chicago's subways). The conversation started off with a bang, neither of us remembering to share with the other our real names (it came up, but it passed too fast). She's confident, with no obvious twitches, fidgets or lip biting (too bad on the last one). She does have a significant poker tell, a glance to the right when she's thinking deep about something.
That's a good thing, to see her thinking deep about what we talked about. There is always a way to get someone to realize a different path to take if they think deeply. I didn't know what to expect with her (we've never chatted or emailed before, ever), so to see her open up to digging into her cranium to produce answers (and honest ones, at that) was great. Seeing her think and respond and even react with laughter to some of my (not so great) comedy pleased me greatly.
Our lunch came and it was fabulous; I had chilean sea bass and she had a sushi-style roll. Since she made time for me out of her day, I offered to cover the first round of drinks. Food was the perfect size: neither her nor I were stuffed at the end. When our server came back, it was obvious she wanted to either spend some more time, or at least talk some more, so I offered to order desert. The desert was a cake, and as many people know I am anti-sugar and wheat. The cake came highly recommended, so we decided to share it (two forks) and returned to our drinks, our conversation. Her eye contact is fantastic, never breaking or falling away shyly unless she was deep thinking. I like that, it's rare.
Between obvious sadness over her stress point and unforced laughter, the conversation had a good rhythm to it. I interrupted to ask questions based on parts of her answers. The stress she has should be easy to overcome, but her answers to other seemingly non-related questions I pitched leads me to believe that she's still got a few weeks to get over it. Other things in her life should help, though, so I think she's going to be A-OK and soon.
I spoke a little bit about myself, which again is rare when I am talking to a woman. It's obvious we hit it off in some sort of odd virtual friend manner, and I do think we'll do it again. I am in her neck of the woods at least 2-3 days a week already, so lunch at the very least will be a possibly regular event.
Our desert arrived and we each ate 1/3 of it. It wasn't too sweet, and was a perfect end to a wonderful lunch. I'll return again. After paying the bill (she paid for her meal, I paid for mine, drinks and desert), we tipped and continued talking, well past the hour mark. Neither of us checked our phones or the time until we realized it was probably late. She confirmed it by checking her phone, and then we chatted some more, probably 20 minutes.
At the 90 minute mark, it was obvious she needed to go back to work. I doubt it was because the conversation lulled, but an honest need to be responsible. I can appreciate that. The waitress came and thanked us both for the generous tip (about 30%, but it was slow and I always tip at least 25% if the server checks on our water and drinks, which she did constantly). That was a nice thank you, too. Rare.
AFCB#2 and I walked out together to the corner, her work in one direction, my car parked in the other. I thanked her for a great meal, and we agreed to try it again in the future. Before I turned to leave, she says "So we don't hug or what?" or something like that, so I step forward and embraced her quite-perfectly-suited-for-my-size frame. This girl definitely can be a firecracker, she needs a strong guy to throw her up in the air, catch her on his shoulders, and parade her in front of the world. I'm sure a little of that would get her unstressed really fast. I hope she gets it, and soon.
She is smooth though, and she pops like a spark plug, so I think she'd be awesome to go drinking with. She mentioned that her life doesn't allow for much time or desire to drink, but we can change that, can't we? I think I can.